Monthly Archives: February 2005

Newspaper Article & New Bank Account

I am currently writing an article for The Daily Texan on how college students should save. The article will highlight :

  • The power of compound interest and its ability to turn a small savings into a huge one over time.
  • Different types of savings accounts college students can open.
  • How much money should be put away per year. I am doing my calculations based on a person putting away $3,000 per year.
  • How to put away $3,000 a year. This section will inform people that only $8.21 needs to be saved everyday to add up to $3,000.

The article will be running this Tuesday, pressing my schedule a bit. This will be especially hard since I have several tests and papers due this week.

On the more financial side, I have opened up another Bank of America account for paying bills. I’ve deposited $300 into the account, and will add to it every week. This account will grow till I graduate, then I will split it up into several different accounts for different bills (car bill, house bills etc.) at that time.

On an unrelated note, a family friend that lives right next to me just bought a Lamborghini Gallardo. He starts small businesses (like storage facilties, car washes etc.) and sells them. He also owns many rental properties and apartments. With a little persuasion and lots of begging, I may even get to drive it!!

More Crazy Business Ideas

Every so often I like to list a few business ideas I write down. Some of these ideas can actually be pretty big money makers if properly carried through with. Feel free to comment. Enjoy!

1.) Color Changing Urinal. A urinal that changes color when it comes in contact with “liquid.” C’mon guys, how cool would it be to relieve yourself and draw a picture in the urinal at the same time! When you flush, the “drawing” would be erased. A fish tank urinal would also be pretty neat, and might even get some press coverage.

2.) Legal Street Racing. Around my house, people from all walks of life meet every weekend on an industrial road which is slightly longer than a 1/4 mile long. Some states have found that people will race no matter what, so they legalized it in certain areas. The racers only need a helmet to participate. This way the racers are happy and the authorities are happy they are away from street traffic. If you could legalize an operation like this in your area, you could easily sell all sorts of concession snacks and beverages every weekend. An easier idea would be to find the places racers meet, and sell chips, cokes etc. out of the back of a truck.

3.) Urinal TV Advertising. Once he is at a urinal, you have a mans’ absolute, undivided attention. When a patron approches the urinal, a 20-30 second TV advertisement can play right in front of his face. This is actually a really good idea. Don’t ask me why I have so many urinal ideas!

4.) Solar Power. In Austin they have started a program that allows residential homes to recieve up to a $5,000 check per year simply for having a solar system on your home (that generates a certain amount of power). You could offer free installation of solar panels on homes in exchange for these yearly checks. A lot of people would jump at the chance for “absolutely free” solar panels, especially in green-place like Austin. Outfitting a home with a solar panel system generally costs $15,000 – $20,000. For commerical buildings, the city writes checks of up to $100,000 per year. Looking out at my aparment complex, putting solar panels on each roof would be discreet and bring in 100 grand per year, plus save the complex tons of money. This was an idea I was pretty involved with for a while. The solar industry is becoming huge in the United States, take advantage of it!

Real Estate

One area I have always been interested in is real estate. I have some experience, and plan to make a purchase soon.

For any of you interested in buying/selling houses, a great place to start is:
Shaun’s Real Estate Adventures

I’ve been reading his blog for a while now and really enjoy it. He also has some great articles on how to get started.

Time Management

As things start to gain speed at school and I have more and more non-academic projects to attend to, I sometimes feel like there are not enough hours in the day.

If I kept a minute-by-minute log of my daily activities, I can see there are enough hours in the day, I just don’t use them efficiently.

At a few points throughout the day I notice large time wasting periods. I’ve found a huge factor in my laziness during these times is food. If I am very full, not much gets accomplished. I work at night some days, so sometimes dinner starts cooking around 1:00am, while other times I eat at a more regular 7:30pm. My dinner is usually very heavy, as I often don’t get much time to eat lunch on campus, so I get tired after dinner and laze around. I currently don’t have a roommate for the next few weeks, therefore I have no one to make me feel self-conscious of my laziness.

The time I spend on campus is always more productive, but I can’t spend whole days there without spending a fortune on eating out. I enjoy being at my apartment, but I just don’t get a whole lot done there.

My workout times are sporadic also. Sometimes I go to the gym at 3:00pm while other times I start working out after work, at midnight till 1:00am. For now, moving closer to campus is not an option. I am only 4 miles away, but rush hour traffic (5-6:30pm) through downtown Austin makes that 4 mile bus ride an hour long.

I need to start regulating my eating times and scheduling a routine workout time. This would help me have more energy and ‘pep’ during the day. If I could properly utilize the time spent at my apartment after meals etc, I would get twice as much work done in a day!

Portfolio Update

My portfolio is currently valued at $9,217 with Dynegy (DYN) and Syntel (SYNT) up today, but Fortune Brands (FO) slipped.

The amount of my money invested is $8,550, so I am currently at a 7.8% gain in my portfolio. Not bad, not great, but better than what I would get in a bank account! All of these stocks except Syntel are longterm, so I’m not going to draw any profits or cut any losses in the near future.

4-31-2005 Goal Uncertainty

My 2-28-2005 goal of making $3,500 was made in order to meet my 4-30-2005 goal of making $11,000. Unless I come up with two grand in the next 6 days, it looks like I won’t meet it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I need more income! I realize I have school which keeps me extremely busy, but I need to form another steady stream of income that is very low maintenance like my current online business. It brings in between $500 and $1,000 per month with less than 20 minutes of maintenance per day. is my other potential income stream, but takes a large time investment. Even with all the craziness of school I must still dedicate some more time to opening side businesses like in the past to meet my $11,000 goal!

Lots of money yet low maintenance…seems too perfect, but it’s possible. I need to keep thinking!

Weekend Update

’twas a crazy weekend with lots of friends, food and fun….but highly unproductive!

Next week from beginning till the end will be extremely hectic and busy, the way I like it. Dynegy and Syntel report quarterly earnings this coming week which should shake up the portfolio, and a sleu of school assignments will help keep me busy in the meantime.

I made an Ebay sale which netted $100. This money will go 20% to spending account, 40% to investment account and 40% to permanent savings. My permanent savings account is getting ready to hit the $6,000 mark, and I am worried I might try to touch it. I don’t trust myself with that cash laying around, especially since I am graduating soon and will be in need of lots of it! Because of this I need to quickly open an IRA account. Recommendations?

My next published article will be on savings for college students. A common problem many college students face is spending their savings, or worse, not saving at all. I will be researching all sorts of different savings accounts for this article. It will be a challenge to make IRA’s interesting and understandable, but I think I can pull it off!

Stock Joke

How do you make a million dollars in the stock market?

Start with two million!!

Original Starbucks Post

I moved this post to make way for my Starbucks Liquor Recipes Post.
Today was a pretty busy bussiness-day. I started out my morning with my daily stock research, followed by 3 hours of school. Immediately after class I jetted over to Morgan Stanley to meet with the head of the Austin branch. He graciously gave me a tour of the office and what they did there, and we talked stocks for quite some time.

I then spent some time with a friend talking about his business venture with 42-Below vodka. I then did a presentation for the University Investors Association about how to get started in stocks, and some of my personal picks which included: GE, PDCO, NWSB and FO.

Some interesting news concerning one of my stock holdings, Fortune Brands (FO), is their new line of Starbucks Liquor. They were testing it regionally, including here in Texas where I first tried it. IT IS AMAZING. I think it will easily take over Khalua as the most popular coffee-liquor.

Starbucks liquor rolled out nationally today, with Fortune Brands holding a big stake. Starbucks developed the liquor with Forutne Brands, and the distributor Future Brands, LLC (A company owned by Fortune Brands) will be the primary distributor. If the rest of the country agrees on how good Starbucks Liquor is, I think FO’s next earnings statement will look nice and green!

Quick Recipe:

–2 oz. Starbucks Liquor
–2 oz. milk
–Shake with ice and pour. Delicious!
–Blend with ice for a Frappuchino

Starbucks Liquor and Updates

Here are two of my favorite Starbucks Liquor Recipes:

Basic Starbucks Liquor Drink:

Ingredients: Starbucks Liquor and Milk.
Equipment: Shaker, shot glass, pouring glass.

–Step 1–
Get your supplies: Starbucks Liquor, milk, ice and a shaker. You will also need a shot glass and a pouring glass.

–Step 2–
Mix 1 part milk and 1 part Starbucks Liquor into a shaker. Add ice and shake.

–Step 3–
Slowly pour into glass.

–Step 4–

Starbucks Liquor Frappuccino
Ingredients: Starbucks Liquor, Milk, Ice.
Equipment: Blender, shot glass, pouring glass.

–Step 1–
Put a handful of ice into the blender.

–Step 2–
Pour 2 parts Starbucks Liquor and 1 part milk in to the ice-filled blender.

–Step 3–
Blend until ice is broken up and blended.

–Step 4–
Pour into glass.

–Step 5–
Enjoy or decorate! You can add whipped cream, caramel or chocolate like Starbucks does. I chose to add some chocolate syrup in the shape of an “N”

Enjoy your drink!

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